Charlton Athletic 1-1 Wednesday
The Valley, London
05/09/11 - 7.45pm
CLINTON Morrison came off the bench to bag Wednesday their first away point in npower League One at unbeaten Charlton Athletic on Monday night.
Morrison replaced Ryan Lowe, who suffered what looked like an ankle injury in his debut for the club, and levelled a Bradley Wright-Phillips opener.
The match was a far from an entertaining spectacle in front of the Sky TV cameras, but the draw will give the Owls a much-needed confidence boost on their travels this season.
Owls boss Gary Megson made a number of changes to the side that bowed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Bradford last week, some forced and some not.
Nicky Weaver, a former Charlton stopper, was out through injury and Richard O'Donnell took his place in goal. There was no debut for new addition Ryan Lowe, with Gary Madine leading the line. Liam Palmer and Reda Johnson were away on international duty, while Mark Reynolds replaced the injured Julian Bennett at left-back.
Jose Semedo featured in the Owls holding midfielder role against his former club, while former Wednesday defender Michael Morrison lined-up for the Addicks.
The hosts, who'd won 13 of a possible 15 points so far this season going into the game, started like a house on fire and it took them just two minutes and 28 seconds to break the deadlock through that man Wright-Phillips.
The former Plymouth Argyle hitman, returning to the team following a knee injury, was given too much space at the edge of the box and he unleashed a powerful shot which beat Owls stopper O'Donnell and sneaked inside the post to give Powell's men the lead.
If Wednesday already had a tough task of getting off the mark away from home this season, the goal made things even tougher.
It lifted the Addicks, who enjoyed most of the ball in the Wednesday half, although O'Donnell didn't really have that much to do. Charlton looked sharper when in possession and the Owls defence looked ragged in the early stages of the contest.
It could, and perhaps should, have been 2-0 when Dale Stephens blazed over the bar from point-blank range. Wright-Phillips was again at the thick of the action when he produced a low cross which the Owls defence failed to deal with, but Stephens whipped his effort harmlessly over the bar.
It prompted Gary Megson, the Owls manager, to make a change to his team, and to his formation. Ryan Lowe was given an early introduction, making his debut up to alongside Gary Madine with Chris Sedgwick making way.
And the change marked a slight shift in the game, with Wednesday enjoying more of the ball and looking slightly more dangerous in attack, although they still struggled to create chances.
Gary Madine did get close to a dangerous cross after Ben Hamer, the Charlton goalkeeper, spilled the ball, but he acted quickly to scoop it up at the second attempt and avert the danger.
Hamer had been a relative spectator for much of the match, but at least now he was being kept on his toes as Wednesday went more attacking in the latter stages of the second half.
The visitors managed to win a couple of corners and free-kicks in dangerous positions, and you sensed that a set piece was going to be the way Wednesday would find their way back into the contest.
Half-Time: Charlton 1-0 Wednesday
The second half started with a worrying blow to the head for Lowe following a clash with Matthew Taylor. The new signing tried to shake off the injury, which appeared to be to his ankle, but he was eventually replaced by Clinton Morrison.
The Addicks continued to look the more menacing in attack but Madine did fashion a chance for the Owls when he beat off his marker before firing an effort straight at Hamer.
It was a warning shot as far as Wednesday were concerned, because with their next attack they got on level terms though the substitute Morrison.
It came from a corner kick and Morrison took his typical poacher position right in the six yard box to head the ball into the back of the net via the underside of the bar, before promptly running the length of the field to celebrate in front of the travelling Wednesdayites.
The goal gave the Owls a much-needed shot in the arm but Athletic could have regained their lead just after the hour mark when Matt Taylor sent a shot just wide of goal following a scramble inside the Owls box from a corner kick.
The chances dried up midway through the second half and Wednesday introduced James O'Connor in place of Semedo, who was walking a tight rope with a yellow card to his name and the game very much turning into a midfield battle.
With ten minutes to go you sensed that the next goal would be the winner and the hosts almost got that goal in the 82nd minute when a deep cross found the head of Taylor at the far post but the post denied him and O'Donnell picked up the loose ball.
Wednesday had carved out just two attempts on goal in the whole match. David Prutton made it three with two minutes to go when he tried an ambitious long-range lob over Hamer.
Full-Time: Charlton 1-1 Wednesday